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Adam James.

Comparing Jari’s Case To Similar Cases: No.7 Michelle Ruitenbeek

Comparing Jari’s Case To Similar Cases: No.7 Michelle Ruitenbeek

Jari Wise was murdered by his partner on February 29, 2020.  The Tasmanian police did not investigate or charge his partner for his murder.  It’s been over 2 years.  For detailed information about the story see the #Justice4Jari website here and my interview with Jari’s mother Faith here.

This series of posts looks at similar cases in Australia where someone has been hit and killed in a hit and run.  The aim is to see how the police typically respond along with the courts, community, media and Government.  This should expose the gender and race bias and the sheer incompetence of the Tasmanian authorities in their management of Jari’s case.

Here is a case to compare with Jari’s:

Michelle Ruitenbeek

Victim/s: 

Michelle Ruitenbeek, 50

Perpetrator/s: 

Joshua Moloney, 31

Relationship of P & V: 

Random

Location: 

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Circumstances: 

On 28th March 2019, Michelle Ruitenbeek was seriously injured and subsequently died after being hit while riding her bike on the Nepean Highway.  Ms Ruitenbeek was a serious, competitive and capable cyclist who had done everything to make herself visible.

Police Response: 

Moloney was arrested in Broadmeadows hours later while his car was found at Seaford about 8am.  He was charged with dangerous driving causing serious injury and failing to render assistance and appeared at an out-of-session court hearing that day.  He was granted bail.

Consequence:

In sentencing, Supreme Court Judge Lex Lasry was stunned as to how Moloney was so “oblivious” to the cyclist riding in front of him.
 
“I frankly find it difficult to understand, you failed to realise you had hit her,” Lasry said.
 
It was accepted Moloney was genuinely remorseful and was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he now struggles with anxiety and PTSD.
 
He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail and will be eligible for parole in 18 months.

Community Response:

Competitors of the 2XU Triathlon at St Kilda on Sunday 31 March, for which Ms Ruitenbeek was training when knocked down, wore black armbands in her honour and competitors left flowers in her memory.

Government Response: 

Nil

Notes in regard to comparing with Jari’s case:

This one sounds like a tragic accident.  It’s unclear if Joshua Moloney was “driving dangerously” or just wasn’t paying attention, which is dangerous and resulted in someone dying.  It was quite clearly unintentional.  It’s probably not true that “he didn’t know”.  If he didn’t realise he’d killed someone then he really wasn’t paying attention and that is dangerous.  He wasn’t intoxicated.  

If you compare this to Jari’s case it clearly highlights the unusual bias.  Jari’s partner was intoxicated.  She was searching for him, she hit him, she fled the scene.  Jari’s case is so much more severe.  For argument’s sake, if it was a mere accident why did she only do a few months prison when Joshua Moloney’s actions were less egregious and he is imprisoned for 2.5 years?

Articles/Sources: 

  1. Driver jailed after hitting and killing Melbourne triathlete

  2. Charges upgraded after triathlete’s road death

A.B.James

A.B.James

I'm a musician, a podcaster, a blogger & I work in marketing. I live in Australia and have two dogs named Ned & Sasha.

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